Are you looking for a trash can that will fit perfectly into your kitchen? So, what size is kitchen trash can is standard?

The standard size for a kitchen trash can ranges from 10 to 48-gallon capacity. However, the most popular size for average-size kitchens is the medium-sized (18 to 23 inches long and 12 to 16 inches wide) trash cans.

Continue reading the post to find the right size “Trash Can” that will suit your kitchen style, size, and needs perfectly!

What Size Is Ideal for Kitchen Trash Cans

What Size Is Kitchen Trash Can?

Kitchen trash cans are available in various types and size options. If you are seeking a trash can size that can fit right into your kitchen, check out these standard sizes (based on the quantity of trash generated regularly in your kitchen) that are currently available in the market:

  1. Small Sized Kitchen Trash Can:

The standard capacity of these trash cans ranges from 7 to 10 gallons. These trash cans are ideal for small apartments where you have a relatively smaller kitchen area or open kitchen space.

These trash cans are mostly 14 to 17 inches long, 10 to 12 inches wide, and 7 to 10 inches deep. That’s why they can fit perfectly in kitchens that have limited space. 

  1. Medium Sized Kitchen Trash Can:

The standard capacity of these kitchen garbage cans ranges from 12 to 16 gallons, and they are ideal for average-sized residential kitchens. They mostly have 18 to 23 inches of height, 12 to 16 inches of width, and 9 to 13 inches of depth.

Since these waste cans offer a larger capacity, they are more suitable for standard families with 3 to 4 members and apartments with shared living facilities.

  1. Large Sized Kitchen Trash Can:

The standard capacity of these garbage or trash cans ranges from 20 to 30 gallons. The height of these cans ranges from 24 to 35 inches, width ranges from 14 to 20 inches, and depth ranges from 12 to 18 inches.

If you have a spacious or larger kitchen space or the generated waste quantity of your household is more than the standard (12 to 16 gallons), these trash cans will fit perfectly for your kitchen needs.

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Trash Can Size?

There are certain factors that you should take into consideration when choosing the trash can size for your kitchen, such as:

  • Measure the available space in the area where you wish to put the trash can. 
  • Decide whether you want a freestanding trash can or a tucked one to place inside the cabinet. 
  • If you want a trash can with a lid, inspect if you have enough space to open and close the lid comfortably.
  • You should also consider how many people live in your home. A smaller-sized trash can will be ideal for one or a couple of people. Similarly, a medium-sized trash can will be better for four people. But if there are more than 4 to 6 people, you should opt for the larger trash can. 
  • Choose the right size trash can for your chosen trash bag. Note that an 8-gallon trash bag will fit into a smaller waste can, while you will need a medium-sized can for a 13-gallon trash bag, and if you want to use a bigger bag like a 30-gallon trash bag, you need a large trash can.

Types of Kitchen Trash Cans:

  1. Dual-compartment:
Available in 15.8 and 16 gallon (60 and 58Liters) Sizes.
Allows to separate trash and recyclables, which is more environmentally friendly. Eliminates the need for multiple trash cans and saves some space in the kitchen. Models such as the “Simplehuman Dual Compartment Voice Activated” Trash Can come with additional motion and voice activation features.Have to empty the trash more frequently due to the smaller compartments. A bad odor may come out and won’t be able to prevent pests due to the lack of lids on some models.Not ideal for those searching for a hidden trash compartment.
  1. Step-pedal (Step-on):
Ranges from 1.3 gallons (4.9 liters) up to 13.2 gallons (50 liters)
It is hands-free and hygienic. (No need to touch the lid with your hands to open it.)Has larger capacities and is ideal for kitchens or cooking areas.May stink more until you open the drawer.
  1. Open-top:
Available in 11.3 gallons and 13 gallons sizes
Easy to use and allow for quick disposal of waste.Less expensive than closed-top counterparts.Emit unpleasant odors.Can also attract insects and pests.Can be unsightly and may not fit with kitchen layout or decor.
  1. Lift-top
Comes in standard kitchen sizes (18 to 23 inches in height, 12 to 16 inches in width, and 9 to 13 inches in depth)
Hands-free and more hygienic to use. Keep the kitchen smelling fresh.The lid might not be as convenient as the one on the Step-on type.Pets can easily access them.
  1. Folding
Comes in a compact, 2-gallon size
Can be easily hung under the kitchen sink, cutting compartment, or counter.Does not consume much space.Their foldable design makes them handy to store and transport.The swing-top and fold-in ones may not open properly when the can is full.Not have a robust build quality. So, it may not last very long.
  1. Automated
Comes in a standard 13-gallon size
More hygienic as you don’t need to touch the lid with your hands.Come in various sizes and designs.Fits in well with the kitchen decor.Automatic trash cans with a lid are ideal for keeping odor and pests at bay.More expensive than traditional manual bins.Require a power source, so they are not suitable in areas without a power supply.Some models can be a little noisy due to the automatic lid feature.

What Size Is Kitchen Trash Can – FAQs

What is the standard trash can size for a family kitchen?

If the family consists of 3 to 4 members only, a medium sized trash can will be perfect. But if it is a bigger family, you will need a larger waste can.

Which type of trash can is better: Plastic or Metal?

Plastic trash cans are more affordable and lightweight, but they are not durable enough to last much longer. On the contrary, metal trash cans are more durable, but they are more expensive and heavier. 

Which one will hold more trash: Round or Square Trash Can?

The square shaped trash can holds more than the round one due to its extra internal volume.


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